Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
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Elegy for Bardo

by J. Davidson Hero

Oh faithful friend and frater Bardo fair,
who stayed and stood with me in strident strength,
a squire, a swain, a servant who would save
my soul it aches with pity and despair
that you have fallen as the battle rage
and surge, and bled, and bore your final tear.

His cockled brow, his piggish mouth a tear
across his face, inviting any fair.
To me his gray eyes never spake with rage
or laden heavy with a cold despair.
Instead they steady shoed his spinal strength:
in fealty to me he bound to save.

Of gnomish cast his mutant kin could save
no place for him an outcast who did tear
his father’s heart and leave it in despair.
Their judgment quick and harsh and hardly fair;
they sent him from their city’s alpine strength
with nothing. Nothing but his naked rage.

But lonely years did triturate this rage
and nothing fed on nothing left him save
his fur knucked hands and bowlegged strength
with which he rose and with his hands would tear
and rend those ties to that family affair
and swore, and swore, he’d never ‘gain despair.

And then my legionnaires lost to despair
and raking for the target of their rage
chanced upon this foeless foe, unfair-
ly planned to flay his butchered carcass save
my foresight saw him lead us there to tear
their city down with mighty numbered strength.

Their cries, our steel, their earthy blood, their strength
did wane and we had won. Bardo’s despair
was gone and for his clan he molt no tear.
Down through the years he followed on. My rage
was his, one mien, one mind, one heart both save
he was grotesque and I gallant and fair.

It is not fair with age we forfeit strength.
We can not save our friends and reap despair.
But I will cache my rage and molt no tear.

© 2008 J. Davidson Hero

J. Davidson Hero is a bibliophile, a hacker, an award-winning indie film maker, a husband, and a father.

Find more by J. Davidson Hero in the Author Index.

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